The entire theme park industry changed in 2010 when people started lining up for this beverage called “butterbeer” in the newly opened Hogsmeade area of Island of Adventure theme park. Soon after, Diagon Alley was created at Universal Studios Florida with the Hogwarts Express attraction built to connect the two areas.
If you are someone who wants to enjoy everything in the Wizarding World, then this touring plan is for you. You will need ticket media with park-to-park access since you will be visiting both parks. If you do not have park to park access, then you could split this plan into two days. Similar to the Ultimate Marvel Comic Fan Touring Plan, this plan is not primarily designed to get you through the attractions as efficiently as a standard touring plan. This plan will take more time than a standard plan and will be drastically influenced by crowd levels so please consult crowd calendar before using. Though not everything can be included, this plan will let you enjoy a microcosm of Harry Potter’s seven years as presented to us by J.K. Rowling.
- Stop at VooDoo Doughnut in CityWalk to get a donut. Pretend like it is a birthday cake brought to you by Hagrid.
- Go line up to enter Universal Studios Florida. Once inside, head toward Diagon Alley area.
- If you have early park admission, you might want to ride Escape from Gringotts now, but you will return to ride this attraction later.
- Visit the Gringotts Money Exchange to exchange some Muggle money for some authentic wizarding bank notes that can be used just like a gift card. This would be like Hagrid taking Harry to Gringotts Wizarding Bank to learn he had lots of galleons.
- Have breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron. This was a stop for Harry before buying his school supplies in Diagon Alley.
- Go experience Ollivander’s Wand Show so you can have an authentic look at a wand choosing a wizard. Even if you are not selected for the ceremony, you can select your own wand for a price of course.
- Shop for school supplies at places like Magical Menagerie, Quality Quidditch Supplies, and Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.
- If you bought a wand, then this would be a good time to cast some spells around Diagon Alley.
- Enjoy some ice cream from Florean Fortescue’s Ice cream Parlor like Harry often did. You might want to climb the stairs near Gringotts attraction to enjoy view of Diagon Alley.
- Go explore Knockturn Alley. When it gets too creepy you can imagine Hagrid saving you after your said the wrong words with the floo powder.
- Take in some of the commonly missed sights/sounds of Diagon Alley like listening outside the “Daily Prophet” door, listen to the snake near Magical Menagerie, and enjoy the theming of the “wizarding wireless network” to name a few
- Go shop in Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and consider adopting a pygmy puff. There is a short adoption naming ceremony.
- If your schedule and Gringotts bank account allows, consider doing a photo session at Shutterbuttons.
- Grab a Butterbeer from The Hopping Pot. Enjoy the shows nearby (Celestina Warbeck and Tales of Beedle the Bard.
- Leave Diagon Alley area and explore the London Waterfront. Take some time to view Kreacher spying on you from 12 Grimmauld Place.
- Go visit the Conductor and the shrunken head for a great photo op and character interaction. Be sure to look inside the bus and maybe it will be as bumpy a ride as Harry experienced.
- Visit the cabman’s shelters. There is a hut that serves jacket potatoes and hot dogs whereas the other hut sells merchandise.
- It is now time to board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station to head to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Hogsmeade area in Islands of Adventure.
- Once in Hogsmeade, say hello to the conductor on your right.
- Go enjoy a ride on the Flight of the Hippogriff like you are in Hagrid’s class.
- Now for a step up in Hagrid’s teaching, you should ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. This will take you in the forbidden forest. WARNING: This attraction uses many different procedures so you may have to get a virtual line earlier in day to experience this attraction. Also, this attraction is highly vulnerable to weather so you may need to adjust plan to enjoy this attraction. One last thing: if you have a chance to ride this attraction at night, DO IT!
- Have lunch at Three Broomsticks
- If you bought a wand, this would be a good time to cast spells in Hogsmeade but remember to mind the spell limits.
- Enjoy some more school shopping in Hogsmeade.
- Send some mail from the Owl’s Post. You can mail letters from there and ask for a Hogsmeade postmark stamp. While there, check out the “howler.”
- Grab a beverage from the Hog’s Head.
- Enjoy the Frog Choir show and Triwizard Spirit Rally show.
- It is time to enjoy Forbidden Journey attraction. You will enjoy a tour of Hogwarts Castle and far more excitement than a Muggle should get to enjoy.
- Go inside Honeydukes to get some treats because you will need them for the trolley, dear.
- Hop on the Hogwarts Express for a return trip to London area.
- Time to relive part of the Deathly Hallows book/movie by experiencing Escape from Gringotts to help Harry save the day while damaging the safest place on earth.
As the character Dumbledore is presented as saying in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury and remedying it.” May these words help you to have a magnificent day in the Wizarding World.
Does this sound like a perfect day for you at Universal Orlando? Let us know what you think in the comments.